The Franklin Institute partnered with the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium (NNCC) to develop toolkits to support nurses in leading COVID-19 vaccine education in schools and community health settings. The project ran from January 19th to June 30th, 2023.
From January to June 2023, the Franklin Institute led the Children’s Vaccine Education Project (CVEP) with funding through NNCC’s cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The purpose of the project was to reinforce confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines by building trust, empowering healthcare personnel, and engaging communities and individuals.
NNCC is a nonprofit public health organization working to strengthen community health through quality, compassionate, and collaborative nurse-led care. The organization reaches a national network of nursing professionals working at the frontlines of care. The Franklin Institute is one of the leading science centers in the country and provides people with educational resources in their own neighborhoods through hands-on activities in classrooms, workshops in libraries, community centers, and other settings, and through interactive online spaces.
Together, NNCC and the Franklin Institute developed a toolkit of engaging STEM education resources for children 2-11 years old, led by school-based nurses and nurses working in community spaces. The project team designed these activities to strengthen nurses’ expertise in educating children with age-appropriate information from a trusted source about the science of how the SARS-CoV-2 virus can make them sick and how vaccines work to protect them. The toolkits include resources such as interactive activity guides and materials, short educational videos, training on vaccine communication, and supplemental resources for families. Most materials are available in 14 languages.* You can view the toolkit resources on the CVEP website.
The project sought to engage a national cohort of nurses who work with early childhood and elementary age children. We encouraged applications from nurses supporting under-vaccinated communities and underserved populations with diverse needs and abilities. The final cohort included 30 highly qualified nurses.
The project team asked cohort members to implement toolkit activities at least four times to reach at least 80 individuals, and to provide feedback to inform future project efforts. The Franklin Institute and NNCC held two virtual trainings to walk through the toolkit materials and share strategies for leading STEM education, as well as three advisory meetings between January and June as an opportunity for cohort members to connect with one another, provide feedback on the toolkit, and troubleshoot barriers to implementation.
The nurses wrapped up their activities in June and have reported overwhelmingly positive feedback on the activities they had led with children and families. One school-based nurse said they most enjoyed “the excitement of the students during a presentation. They had so many questions and comments and were educating one another as the presentation progressed.” We also heard that CVEP gave nurses the ability to reach broader audiences, by opening the door to lessons in classrooms and by providing translated materials. One participating nurse shared that “CVEP allowed me the educational resources to partner with ASL interpreters to teach students that are deaf or hard of hearing the importance of vaccines.”
The project team developed CVEP as a successor to the School Vaccine Education Project, a pilot program involving ten school nurses in the Philadelphia area during the 2021-2022 school year. You can read about the impact of that project in its final report.
NNCC is grateful to our CVEP cohort for contributing their expertise to this important health education initiative! We hope the project activities will serve as a model for future project efforts.
* Most materials are available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Haitian Creole, Khmer, Kinyarwanda, Pashto, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
This project was funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant number NU50CK000580). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this resource center do not necessarily represent the policy of CDC or HHS and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal Government.